This morning I heard Michael Graham complaining that the Boston Globe failed to cover the local "Tax Day Tea Party," providing only an AP story bylined from Kentucky. I now see that Graham has groused about it on his blog as well. Graham led the after-work rally at Christopher Columbus Park; there was also a lunch-time protest on the Common, in front of the State House.
I don't normally bother to react to Graham's grumblings, but for some reason I feel compelled to.
The protests -- which I previewed here, quite positively I'd say -- were fine, and seemed to go off pretty well. The participants, and Graham, should be pleased: they went out and aired their grievances. Good for them.
And one could argue that it was a newsworthy national story. All told, maybe 200,000 to 300,000 people participated, which, as national protests go, is notable but by no means huge. (Compare with immigrant-rights national protests in 2006, anti-war protests in '03, '05, etc. and others.) It was impressive in breadth, but not in size; the biggest of yesterday's gatherings was maybe a little over 5000, which is nothing special. Still -- as the Globe acknowledged -- newsworthy.
Locally, however, it was a non-story. The mid-day rally across from the state house was maybe 300 people, which is about what a good single-issue lobbying day event draws. There were more there the other day for a firefighters' rally against budget cuts. A few weeks ago, roughly 1000 were there to protest janitor layoffs. Graham's event at Christopher Columbus Park maybe drew over 1000 (maybe).
So, should the Boston Globe have devoted its limited manpower and column inches to that? Well, here's what those reporters were working on yesterday instead:
--The House version of the FY 2010 state budget, released yesterday.
--The senate president's speech to the chamber of commerce, in which she vowed to bring forward a casino bill.
--A murder of a woman in the Marriott Copley, apparently by someone targeting masseuses.
--News that Speaker DeLeo's chief of staff, and a powerful state representative, have both testified to a grand jury in the Cognos scandal.